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AT&T today added the Nokia 2610 to its stable of candybar phones. Features are simple but relatively advanced compared to most budget phones, the American provider notes: Nokia's Xpress messaging lets subscribers trade voice clips in place of SMS text messages, and the device is still Internet-savvy with basic web browsing, e-mail, and instant messaging. Enough memory is onboard for MP3 ringtones.
The carrier sells the 2610 immediately for $20 as part of a two-year plan. Those who prefer the device without the commitment can also buy it from AT&T for $170. [via Crave]
Xenonics has recently begun shipping the SuperVision, touted as one of the most powerful night-vision scopes in the world. It is in fact said to be superior to military-grade (Gen 3) scopes, with higher clarity, better resolution and further range. It also has 2 to 8x zoom, which with many other scopes may require a magnifier add-on to achieve similar performance. The SuperVision does have two drawbacks though, the foremost of which is the fact that it is handheld, unable to be mounted to a helmet or gun. And despite having superior resolution, its CCD sensor still only records 380,000 pixels. One SuperVision costs $1,399.
Code hackers have broken Windows activation for copies of Vista that came with major system builders' PCs, Microsoft's senior product manager Alex Kochis wrote today on a company blog. Two new techniques have surfaced which successfully convince original equipment manufacturer (OEM) copies of Vista that they run on their intended PCs, letting pirates run bootleg versions without ever having to activate their copies online or by phone.
Apple's new 8-core Mac Pro may be throttled by its memory technology and its older operating system, according to new benchmarks run on the cutting-edge system. Even though the eight total Xeon cores offer a literal doubling of theoretical CPU performance in testing, testing of memory-intensive programs such as Aperture and Photoshop CS3 -- both of which routinely store gigabytes of images in memory -- reveals almost negligible differences between 8-core and 4-core 3GHz systems.
TV network CBS today revealed the CBS Interactive Audience Network, a new initiative to bring as much of its TV programming online as possible. The company has struck deals with several key Internet distributors to make much of its content available on a non-exclusive basis and says it will split ad revenues (when applicable) between itself and the companies hosting its clips. Every clip posted online will be available directly to US viewers, CBS says, though only shorter segments as well as full-length sports events will be available to an international audience.
iRiver today brought its minimalist Clix 2 media player to the US as a new entrant in the hotly contested flash media player field. Previewed at CES, the device keeps its size small by embedding directional buttons around the edges of the 2.2-inch screen. The player is more flexible than the rival iPod nano through support for MPEG-4 videos as well as Flash Lite-based games, FM radio and voice recording.
It also becomes one of the first US-bound devices to ship with an AMOLED organic display: the screen both improves brightness, iRiver says, and maintains a strong 24 hours of battery life despite being larger than the 1.5-inch screen of its challenger from Apple.
Employees and other owners of the Nokia N95 may soon have reason to be suspicious of their handsets. Even though the phone has just been released in the United States, British company Spycatcher is now selling a spyphone version, cosmetically identical to the normal product. The difference in the spyphone is that all conversations are broadcast not only to the intended recipient, but the real buyer, allowing them to listen in from anywhere on Earth.
This includes text messages as well, and users cannot throw people off by switching SIM cards. Phone location can be pinpointed to the nearest cell site. Access to this technology is somewhat restricted, however: the fake N95 costs £2,703 ($5,540) with VAT, and may not be legal outside of the European Union.
Samsung helped usher in its first fourth-generation (4G) wireless devices on Thursday with the shipment of four new devices in its homeland. Highlighted in the news are the phones: the P9000 (pictured in back) at last brings the company's hybrid computer and phone to shops with a unique fold-out keyboard that uses WiMAX and earlier EVDO to connect to the Internet anywhere using Windows XP, complete with a front camera for video chats. The M8100 (not shown) takes the same connections and camera functions into a smaller slider phone design.
Fujitsu today overhauled most of its PC line in its home country, boosting speeds and memory to better handle Windows Vista. All of its mid-range Lifebook systems now come with Core 2 Duo processors and 1GB of RAM. The S3840brings this performance to a 13.3-inch system with a 40GB hard drive and a long 5.5-hour battery life. The 15.4-inch E8240 and H8240 cater respectively to basic and performance users, with the first claiming a 1280x800 resolution, integrated graphics, and a 40GB drive; the second has an HD-ready 1920x1200 display, dedicated NVIDIA graphics, and a larger 60GB drive.
The Lifebook E-series update ships first in May with a base price of $1,919 after tax in Japan; the S- and H-series models will sell for $1,857 and $2,948 respectively. Updates should be echoed in North America at lower prices.
Although EBGames' current listing for the pink Zune states it as "back ordered," Zune-Online insists that the release date for the player has been advanced considerably. The official date, as explained by Microsoft's Cesar Menendez, is May; if ZO is to be believed however, the player will begin shipping tomorrow, April 13th. The pink model is one of at least two new colors shipping this year, the other being the red Zune aimed at a general summer release. Both products are believed to be attempts at luring attention away from the Apple iPod, still dominant in the portable music market.
Microsoft intends to phase out the OEM version of Windows XP at the start of 2008, isolating those not ready to upgrade, writes APC Magazine. After January, Microsoft's contracts with computer builders will require the installation of Windows Vista -- which, despite a variety of improvements, has received complaints of hardware and software incompatibility, as well as high system requirements. Many shoppers are thus still asking for Windows XP to be installed, even though the death knell for the OS has already been sounded.
LaCie today unveiled the LaCie 526, a 26-inch widescreen LCD in its new 500 Series range of displays. The 526 monitor supports 95 percent AdobeRGB as well as 98.5 percent ISO-coated color spaces, and the screen has a 12-bit Look-Up Table (LUT) alongside 16-bit processing for smooth gradients. The screen comes with an integrated hardware calibration solution for "single click" calibration as well as additional tools to help users fine-tune white point, test and report for verification of profile accuracy, and create a reference profile for switching profiles without the need to recalibrate. The uniformity-enhanced panel includes a backlight stabilizer, and the wide 25.5-inch H-IPS panel offers 1920x1200 resolution for displaying two A4 pages at full size alongside tool palettes. The new LaCie 526 is slated for shipment in the end of April at $2,000.
Envision on Thursday grew its LCD line by three with new computer displays for Macs and PCs. At the front is the G918w1, a 19-inch widescreen display with HDCP support for its DVI input. The added encryption compatibility lets it play certain protected Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies at the full 1440x900 resolution of the LCD while also passing certification for Windows Vista Home Premium's secure movie playback. Envision claims strong performance at the display's size with an 800:1 contrast ratio and a 5ms pixel response time. It ships to stores today for $219.
Sony has officially discontinued the 20GB version of the PlayStation 3 in North America, ending its run only six months after the Blu-Ray console's November 17th launch. The company described the decision as a reflection of demand, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the more feature-rich 60GB version, which sports both a card reader and Wi-Fi.
"Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of ninety percent in favor of the 60GB SKU, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly," said SCEA's David Karraker. "Based on retailer and consumer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model."
Apple today published a patent that may point to a more full-fledged media center interface from the company. Dubbed a "Multi-media center for computing systems," the design revolves around a module controller element that would mediate between multiple devices and programs, allowing them to control media playback through plug-in software modules while presenting a consistent front-end to the entire experience.
Vonage CEO Michael Snyder this morning quit this company in an effort to restore confidence in the VoIP provider, which is also planning other job cuts as part of a reorganization effort. No comments were made by the executive explaining his reasons for leaving, though the company said that the departure would be immediate.
The resignation comes as the latest blow to the confidence of Vonage, which lost to Verizon in a patent case that threatens to lock the Internet calling service out of the latter's phone networks. The company was also briefly barred from subscribing new users until a temporary stay allowed them to continue.
The mid-range GeForce 8600 GTS video card is reaching stores early, enthusiasts have found. Although not slated for an announcement until April 17th, GeForce 8600 GTS cards made by PNY have been discovered at Best Buy running the predicted 675MHz core and 1GHz actual (2GHz effective) memory. Some shoppers have also found a BFG GeForce 8600 GTS OC model overclocked to 710MHz for a slightly higher price, according to reports.
The PNY Vepto card pictured currently sells in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit for $250. More vendors and different board models are expected for the official debut next week. Click through for the full shot. [via The Inquirer]
Sony announced at today's Tokyo Big Light expo that it would launch some of the first ever productiton OLED displays this year. Although exhibited before as a concept display, the 11-inch set will be a reality for 2007 and should carry with it all the benefits of the organic display, including an exceptionally thin 3mm (0.11 inches) body, an unparalleled 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a color gamut higher than 100% of the NTSC range. Video input is handled through a single HDMI output as well as co-ax for antennas or cable.
The company wasn't yet ready to set a specific launch date or price for the OLED screen, which also goes without a name; however, it promises a release by the end of the year and may ship the ultra-thin TV beyond its Japanese home. [via Impress]
Gateway's basic brand eMachines on Thursday launched a trio of faster basic PCs and more easily accessible LCDs. The computers all share an improved baseline with 120GB hard drives, DVD burners, and faster processors. Starting the line is the entry-level T3612, which steps up from a 3.33GHz Celeron D to 3.46GHz while sporting 512MB of RAM and Vista Home Basic; the T5088 jumps from 3GHz to 3.2GHz with its single-core Pentium 4 and improves storage using a 160GB hard drive and a 15-in-1 card reader. The range-leading T5226 sees a similar CPU increase to a dual-core 3.2GHz Pentium 4 with the 1GB of RAM needed to handle Vista Home Premium and a 250GB hard drive.
Panasonic started the morning with its new Toughbook CF-08 tablet. Intended computer users who almost always need a tablet, the 10.4-inch touchscreen is claimed to be much more resilient than some tablets: the back holds a hand strap to prevent a fall, but the shell itself can withstand drops from up to one meter (3.3 feet). The Japanese firm has also opted for battery life over performance with Windows CE 5 and a 312MHz XScale processor that nets 4.5 hours of use with a screen at full brightness and as much as 14 hours on lower settings. Bluetooth, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi let the CF-08 add a keyboard or stay online away from a desk.
Panasonic has declined to give a fixed price, but says it will ship its newest Toughbook to Japanese shelves by May 15th. A US release is possible but unannounced.
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